The Troubles with Us
‘Derry Girls meets David Sedaris’ Elske Rahill
‘The writing is full of energy and originality’ Irish Times
Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O’Neill has seen it all – burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist and a classmate playing hide and seek with her dad’s prosthetic hand (blown off making a device for the IRA). Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They’re too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl – booze, boys and Boyzone – to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Besides, the odd coffee jar bomb is nothing compared to the drama about to explode in Alix’s personal life.
Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother’s unorthodox family – a loving yet eccentric band of misfits – behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it’s through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women.
Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict. It’s a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.
'We cannot recommend that you read this memoir enough - short of stopping people in the street and pressing it into their hands, we really urge you just to order it online right now. Right this moment' STYLIST 'O'Neill has produced a literary equivalent of Derry Girls' Charlie Connelly, The New European 'A charming book, by turns caustic and funny, innocent and canny' The Mail on Sunday 'The writing is full of energy and originality. One can only imagine what good company O'Neill is in person . . . this book is genuine and funny with insights into Northern Ireland's evolution through the 1980s and 1990s into something like peace' Sinead O'Shea, Irish Times 'It was a joy to spend time in O'Neill's world, and the irresistible sense of fun she sparked could have led me on to read many more stories about her family life . . . equal parts hilarious, moving and compelling' Emer O'Hanlon, Irish Independent 'Derry Girls meets David Sedaris - a sound dose of social history served with all the lightness and humour of an after-work cocktail' Elske Rahill, author of An Unravelling 'This is a brassy, ballsy, belter of a book - full of the real grit of what it means to come from Northern Ireland . . . From sexy toy petrol stations to mortifying period chats with yer swearing ma - from Gerry Adams on the telly to naming your goats in an attempt at bridging the political divide - from burning a placenta the weekend of the twelfth to portakabin penance with Tamagotchis: this book will turn your views on the Troubles upside down. O'Neill writes the North like no one else I have encountered; with wit, humour and pure affection' Kerri ni Dochartaigh, author of Thin Places
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